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Exercise helps curb low-grade inflammation in children

21 May 2021

Doing more brisk and vigorous physical activity can help curb low-grade inflammation in children with a higher body fat percentage, suggests research in the European Journal of Sport Science.

Being overweight and obese contribute to low-grade inflammation, and if the inflammation is long-lasting it can increase the risk for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

The study looked at the associations between physical activity, sedentary time, diet quality, body fat content, and low-grade inflammation in 390 children aged six to eight years old.

Overall, higher levels of physical activity and lower levels of sedentary time were associated with a healthier inflammatory profile. Body fat percentage modified these associations.

Lead author Dr Eero Haapala said: ‘The key message of our results is that increasing physical activity and reducing sedentary time are key in preventing low-grade inflammation [from] childhood.’ He added that this is ‘particularly important for overweight children’.

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